Amelia’s Magazine | Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits: a perfect idea for Mothering Sunday

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Okay, order so I know it’s Pancake Day, and International Women’s Day. But I want to talk about BISCUITS. And why not? Mothering Sunday is coming up this weekend and what better excuse to get baking. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons to make biscuits at any time of the year, as you will discover if you get your paws on the fabulous Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. I promise you’ll be drooling before you’ve even opened the delicious front cover.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I discovered Biscuiteers a bit late for Valentines Day, but they kindly sent me a copy of their book, written by Harriet Hastings and Sarah Moore. Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is the most divinely designed and photographed bible of biscuit goodness. And what I like is that it is very clearly a collaborative effort, with thanks to Victoria Sawdon – who not only art directed the book but illustrates all the Biscuiteers tins – mentioned alongside thanks to all the biscuit icers: Rina Wanti, Ceridwen Olofson and Belinda Chen. I want their skills!

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers was started with the aim of making biscuits that look as beautiful as they taste. They are launched in seasonal collections to match specific events, and are aimed at adults in high end stores such as Harrods, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason. The Biscuiteers are proud to have built a business on old fashioned non-industrialised techniques and all the biscuits are still hand made and therefore individual. However, with the help of the Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits the common biscuit baker can give it a go ourselves.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is an extraordinarily beautiful book that features all the information you need to know to create the perfect dough and that all important icing, both royal and flooded. As well as easy to follow guides the book offers recommendations for how to package and post your biscuity creations. As you would expect it includes chapters on biscuits for a huge variety of occasions, from the biggies such as Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day (this weekend) and Easter, down to individual ideas such as New Baby biscuits – pastel bears and ducks – and garden themed biscuits. There are even some jokey cupcake biscuits, which says something about the enduring popularity of the cupcake, though I’d be happy to wager a bet on the biscuit take over.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I made some dodgy Valentines Day biscuits using an online recipe, but with the help of this book I hope very soon to be somewhat more skilled, and I bet your mum would love nothing more than a batch of beautiful home made biscuits for Mothering Sunday – even if they don’t turn out quite as perfectly as the ones in Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. Hey, it’s good to have something to aspire to!

Valentines biscuits
My feeble efforts…

You can buy the book on the Biscuiteers website. The book won Best Desserts Book UK and this month it goes into the international final for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, held in Paris. Well done! And well deserved.

Categories ,Belinda Chen, ,Best Desserts Book UK, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits, ,Ceridwen Olofson, ,Christmas, ,Easter, ,Flooded Icing, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, ,Hallowe’en, ,Harriet Hastings, ,Harrods, ,International Women’s Day, ,liberty, ,Mother’s Day, ,Mothering Sunday, ,New Baby, ,Pancake Day, ,Rina Wanti, ,Royal Icing, ,Sarah Moore, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Victoria Sawdon

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Amelia’s Magazine | Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits: a perfect idea for Mothering Sunday

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Okay, order so I know it’s Pancake Day, and International Women’s Day. But I want to talk about BISCUITS. And why not? Mothering Sunday is coming up this weekend and what better excuse to get baking. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons to make biscuits at any time of the year, as you will discover if you get your paws on the fabulous Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. I promise you’ll be drooling before you’ve even opened the delicious front cover.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I discovered Biscuiteers a bit late for Valentines Day, but they kindly sent me a copy of their book, written by Harriet Hastings and Sarah Moore. Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is the most divinely designed and photographed bible of biscuit goodness. And what I like is that it is very clearly a collaborative effort, with thanks to Victoria Sawdon – who not only art directed the book but illustrates all the Biscuiteers tins – mentioned alongside thanks to all the biscuit icers: Rina Wanti, Ceridwen Olofson and Belinda Chen. I want their skills!

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers was started with the aim of making biscuits that look as beautiful as they taste. They are launched in seasonal collections to match specific events, and are aimed at adults in high end stores such as Harrods, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason. The Biscuiteers are proud to have built a business on old fashioned non-industrialised techniques and all the biscuits are still hand made and therefore individual. However, with the help of the Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits the common biscuit baker can give it a go ourselves.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits is an extraordinarily beautiful book that features all the information you need to know to create the perfect dough and that all important icing, both royal and flooded. As well as easy to follow guides the book offers recommendations for how to package and post your biscuity creations. As you would expect it includes chapters on biscuits for a huge variety of occasions, from the biggies such as Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day (this weekend) and Easter, down to individual ideas such as New Baby biscuits – pastel bears and ducks – and garden themed biscuits. There are even some jokey cupcake biscuits, which says something about the enduring popularity of the cupcake, though I’d be happy to wager a bet on the biscuit take over.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced BiscuitsBiscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

I made some dodgy Valentines Day biscuits using an online recipe, but with the help of this book I hope very soon to be somewhat more skilled, and I bet your mum would love nothing more than a batch of beautiful home made biscuits for Mothering Sunday – even if they don’t turn out quite as perfectly as the ones in Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits. Hey, it’s good to have something to aspire to!

Valentines biscuits
My feeble efforts…

You can buy the book on the Biscuiteers website. The book won Best Desserts Book UK and this month it goes into the international final for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, held in Paris. Well done! And well deserved.

Categories ,Belinda Chen, ,Best Desserts Book UK, ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits, ,Ceridwen Olofson, ,Christmas, ,Easter, ,Flooded Icing, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, ,Hallowe’en, ,Harriet Hastings, ,Harrods, ,International Women’s Day, ,liberty, ,Mother’s Day, ,Mothering Sunday, ,New Baby, ,Pancake Day, ,Rina Wanti, ,Royal Icing, ,Sarah Moore, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Victoria Sawdon

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Amelia’s Magazine | UK Uncut, Green & Black Cross, Black Bloc & the March for the Alternative.

March 26 2011-UK UncutUK Uncut gathers on the South Bank on Saturday 26th March 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Unless you have been living under a rock you will be aware that there was a huge anti-cuts March for the Alternative on Saturday 26th March 2011. In the days since then the press has been dominated with both outrage from the government that “hooligans” should be allowed to roam the streets, and on the other side, shock at the way in which once again the police and media have mistreated protestors. As anyone who was following me on Twitter will know I was involved on the UK Uncut action, which involved an occupation of Fortnum & Mason… yet another large corporation culpable of massive tax avoidance: This action led to by far the largest numbers of arrests and charges on the day: a staggering 138 of the 149.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

On my way through London I saw the most enormous amount of creativity, from pound coin shields to a Trojan Horse cunningly installed at the centre of Oxford Circus – and of course plenty of banners bursting with witty one liners: included in this blog post are just a few of the amazing sights from the day. With a march numbering possibly half a million and upwards (something the government has been quick to downplay) there were surely many great ones that I missed – especially the legendary message “I was told there would be biscuits” carried by a small child on someone’s shoulders. I broke away from the march early on to take part in UK Uncut actions on Oxford Street and then at Fortnum & Mason.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Demonised by the press for their behaviour, UK Uncut have been quick to fight back with their version of events: really, the police and media should know better. Both UK Uncut and Green & Black Cross – the support network that provided legal observers and arrestee support – have grown out of Climate Camp networks and ways of organising to take on completely new identities of their own. As a result some of those involved are no strangers to wrongful arrest, police brutality and political policing: remember Heathrow, Kingsnorth, G20 and Ratcliffe anyone? These people know what they are doing; naturally the unfair arrests of UK Uncut was filmed and immediately shared, the footage unsurprisingly making the front page of the Guardian.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Some people might wonder what on earth the links between the anti-cuts movement and Climate Camp are, but Climate Camp has always been rooted in a desire to address the social inequalities of capitalism – for example a breakaway group in London is currently looking at ways to campaign around fuel poverty. One of the favourite slogans at the COP15 Climate conference was System Change not Climate Change – we can’t cure the problem with simple quick fix answers, but rather by tackling the whole global neoliberal system. A brutal plan to cut services such as libraries and the NHS will undermine the fabric of a just society, affecting the poor most. Meanwhile the rich are able to avoid huge tax bills at a time when we desperately need to start building a green economy that is not based on endless profit. Clearly these inequalities are something that green activists are keen to tackle.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Climate Camp has also always been a broad mix of liberalism and radicalism, so it’s no surprise that UK Uncut is as well. The very name Green & Black Cross indicates how the group combines the more autonomous anarchist streaks of activism with the skills, infrastructure and ideologies built up within the green movement. It supports grassroots social struggles in the UK and during the March for the Alternative the Green & Black Cross provided Legal Support, Action Medics and Action Kitchens. They even had a basic compost portaloo roaming the streets in a supermarket trolley – but in the event it was never used: it’s hard to get into a kettle once it is formed. They will be independently advising on all arrests during the day at a defendants’ meeting on Saturday 2nd April and were generally out in force to offer biscuits and legal advice as soon as arrestees were released.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Since the arrests UK Uncut activists have had to field a barrage of commentary from the media, which has been ever quick to notice the anarchic element of their protest. Their sit in at Fortnum & Mason was largely peaceful – protestors ate their own sandwiches and listened to performances and speeches – but on Newsnight a spokesperson was asked to denounce all protestor violence. She did a marvellous job of neither condoning nor condemning it: there were people from all backgrounds in Fortnum & Mason. For some it will have been their first experience of direct action (read this shocking report of the arrest of a 15 year old girl) and others were part of the Black Bloc earlier in the day – the two are not mutually exclusive. UK Uncut has an incredibly loose non-hierarchical structure, and to be successful it must somehow find a place for those of all backgrounds.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia GregoryInside Fortnum & Mason. They look super scared don’t they?

Most UK Uncutters recognise that there is more to successful activism than a simplistic black and white damnation of violence, but the more liberal end of the spectrum may well be new to the idea that damage to property is not considered violence by many activists – see here for a definition – so there is going to be a rapid need to redefine and educate as soon as possible. Most of the targets for property damage on Saturday were well thought through – big banks that avoid tax, Topshop, BHS and so on. Who threw paint, and who broke windows? It’s not clear, but the targets were clear enough. Some people, whether you agree with it or not, think it is more effective to inflict damage on a well selected target than to simply march from A-B and then listen to speeches. After all, what did it ever do to stop the Iraq war? Direct action through the ages has proven that targeting property can be highly effective – the Suffragettes were never afraid of inflicting collateral damage. Last year at Climate Camp windows were smashed at the RBS head offices in Edinburgh to demonstrate concern against their continued investment in fossil fuels.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

By Trafalgar Square at night some rogue elements (possibly pissed up) were clearly provoked into throwing glass bottles at police, never something I would recommend however bad police brutality gets (and by all accounts it did get REALLY bad) because I personally don’t believe that violence against people is ever acceptable. But I do believe that the Black Bloc as a considered and thoughtful tactic is something that our movement needs: people who are willing to put their bodies and actions on the front line to stop those who are damaging the fabric of our “democratic” society. Many of them were very young, possibly disaffected veterans of kettling at the student demos last year – others were highly organised groups who came to join the march from across the country. Those involved will undoubtedly have slightly different views as to process and outcome but recent online dialogues prove that diverse parts of the movement are keen to work together. Rather than dismiss Black Bloc actions as the nihilistic work of masked “hooligans” we would do well to consider the underlying reasons why this is seen as an appealing tactic utilised by at least a thousand people last weekend. After all, we’re all in this together… and this is just the beginning of our future.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Further reading:
Why Fortnum & Mason?
Video footage from the UKuncut action
An open letter from the Brighton Solidarity Federation of Anarcho-Syndicalists
People are worth less than property
A night in the cells is nothing to a lifetime imprisoned by cuts
Reasons why the cuts are a bad idea
Dominic Campbell experiences police brutality in Trafalgar Square
Political Dynamite: We should use the word violence with the greatest care.
Leah Borromeo: Protestors can’t disown the “violent minority”.
Why the UKuncut arrests threaten future protests
What is the Black Bloc? Information page.
Laurie Penny – What really happened in Trafalgar Square
My UK Uncut arrest made me a political prisoner
Climate Camp 2010 in Edinburgh – my commentary
Climate Camp 2009 in Copenhagen – my commentary part one, part two and part three.
G20 Climate Camp in the City – my commentary
Ratcliffe: Did PC Mark “Flash” Kennedy ensure my arrest as one of the Ratcliffe 114 ?- my commentary
Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in 2008.
One of the first UK Uncut protests: Sir Philip Green and his Topshop billions get the UK Uncut treatment.
The Third Estate: A message to Critical UK Uncut activists.
Latent Existance: a report by the 15 year old who was arrested.

Categories ,Anarchism, ,Anarcho-Syndicalists, ,Anti-capitalism, ,Anti-cuts, ,Banners, ,BHS, ,Black Bloc, ,capitalism, ,Climate Camp, ,COP15 Climate conference, ,Cuts, ,Democratic, ,Direct Action, ,Dominic Campbell, ,economy, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,g20, ,Green & Black Cross, ,Green New Deal, ,Green Party, ,Hooligans, ,kingsnorth, ,Liberal, ,March for the Alternative, ,Neoliberalism, ,Newsnight, ,NHS, ,Oxford Circus, ,police, ,Political Dynamite, ,Ratcilffe, ,Suffragettes, ,Tax Avoidance, ,The Third Estate, ,topshop, ,Trafalgar Square, ,Trojan Horse, ,UK Uncut, ,Veggies, ,Violence

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Amelia’s Magazine | UK Uncut, Green & Black Cross, Black Bloc & the March for the Alternative.

buy purchase _Another_Level, approved _4x4x3m,_mixed_media_including_reclaimed_wood,_glass_flowers,_taxidermied_bird,_flower_pots,_2009_courtesy_the_artist_and_EB&Flow” width=”480″ height=”320″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-38966″ />
Katie Louise Surridge, Another Level. Mixed media including reclaimed wood, glass flowers, taxidermied bird, flower pots.

Amidst the renovations and general detritus that inevitably comes when you do a top to toe renovation of a two floored building, Nathan Englebrecht and Margherita Berloni are guiding me around the former print works in Leonard Street, EC2 which will soon form the light-filled gallery space for EB&Flow. In the run up to the April 2nd opening, the gallery founders – both twenty somethings who met on an art business course – seem as cool as a proverbial cucumber and in good spirits as we tour the premises, chatting all the while about their vision for the space and how it will serve and suit their artists in residence. While art galleries are certainly not hard to come by in this neck of the woods, there is something very noteworthy about this particular endeavor, and that is the galleries extensive level of support to the artists who will exhibit in their gallery. Their aim is to cultivate long term relationships with the artists in residency, and share an ethos that they will try to make anything happen for them; advising them on their careers, placing them in collections, even paying for material costs if necessary.


A selection of works by some of the 10 artists who will be exhibiting at the group show Since Tomorrow
Gemma Anderson
Albemarlensis, Pahoehoe Lava


Ketil by Shannah Bupp.


Silent Are The Echoes by Nicholas Mcleod

During the time that their work is exhibited at EB&Flow, they are also given studio space within the gallery. (After a period, the walls will be removed and the studio becomes an exhibition in itself). It soon becomes clear that Nathan and Margherita feel passionately about this, discussing at length something which is somewhat of a current hot topic – the sense that artists are not provided with enough support and advice during their time at art school with regards to the business of art; (a subject that was recently discussed in Jessica Furseth’s article here). “We never felt that artists had the right platform in which to exhibit and the support that was needed to develop their careers”, Nathan explains. Born out of this is an additional feature of the gallery; an educational programme kicking off at the end of April that will discuss issues such as collecting, curatorial practice and artist professional development. They list a few of the topics that will be covered, such as the legality issues of selling art, re-sell rights, how to store art, how to do art fairs…..all things relevant and vital to a burgeoning artists career. It’s worth mentioning that these courses and lectures will be open to all. Check the EB&Flow website for further details.


Margeherita and Nathan, EB & Flow.

I ask Margherita and Nathan what they are looking for in an artist, and what type of work will feature at EB&Flow. “There is a certain aesthetic line going through our choice of artists”, Nathan explains, with Margherita adding “we steer away from very conceptual stuff and minimalist art; we want something rich and interesting to look at”. Their first collection is entitled Since Tomorrow, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini and features work (using disciplines such as installation, painting, sculpture and photography) from ten emerging artists exploring the dynamics of space and providing responses to the question ‘ what is the space we are living at the moment and how do we represent it?’. Work will be shown by Briony Anderson, Gemma Anderson, Neil Ayling, Ross M. Brown, Shannah Bupp, Sue Corke, Dylan Culhane, Alessandro Librio, Nicholas McLeod, Katie Louise Surridge and Cristian Zuzunaga.


A Beautiful Struggle by Katie Louise Surridge

Amongst the core group of artists whose work will be opening the gallery is Katie Louise Surridge, a Slade School of Fine Art graduate. (She will also go on to have a residency at the EB&Flow gallery). Her work will particularly resonate with anyone who lives in grimy, rubbish strewn London because Katie has the ability to make something beautiful out of the underbelly of the city. Her installations use found objects which she sources during scavenging missions done mainly along the Thames, creating a utopia out of what has been left behind and discarded. While I was talking with Nathan and Margherita, Katie was busy getting a sense of the space that will feature her (very big) installation. She works mostly with natural materials, such as aged wood and metal; “natural materials that have been used in this urban scheme, and then reverted back to being natural again”. “I have this fascination with what’s left behind”, she continues, “I like the aesthetic of what the river washes up – it’s been there for a long time and it’s aged and it feels like its got a bit of history behind it”. Discovering Katie’s work makes me realise how little I know about what gets discarded in big cities, and how much waste washes up around us.


So Over by Katie Louise Surridge

It’s impossible not to warm to Katie, especially after discovering the following facts about her:
– She once found an S+M style gag washed up in the river and took it to the pub, thinking that it was a dog collar.
– She was in the Boy Scouts as a child (not the Brownies)
– She is a self confessed obsessive hoarder
– Her beloved dog is going to be featured on a ‘Dog Borstal’ style TV show
– She is saving up to buy a metal detector to assist her scavenging expeditions.

Since Tomorrow: Exhibition Dates, 2 April – 26 May.


Dylan Culhane, and his work Mechanotron which will feature in Since Tomorrow.

March 26 2011-UK UncutUK Uncut gathers on the South Bank on Saturday 26th March 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Unless you have been living under a rock you will be aware that there was a huge anti-cuts March for the Alternative on Saturday 26th March 2011. In the days since then the press has been dominated with both outrage from the government that “hooligans” should be allowed to roam the streets, order and on the other side, order shock at the way in which once again the police and media have mistreated protestors. As anyone who was following me on Twitter will know I was involved on the UK Uncut action, pharmacy which involved an occupation of Fortnum & Mason… yet another large corporation culpable of massive tax avoidance: This action led to by far the largest numbers of arrests and charges on the day: a staggering 138 of the 149.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

On my way through London I saw the most enormous amount of creativity, from pound coin shields to a Trojan Horse cunningly installed at the centre of Oxford Circus – and of course plenty of banners bursting with witty one liners: included in this blog post are just a few of the amazing sights from the day. With a march numbering possibly half a million and upwards (something the government has been quick to downplay) there were surely many great ones that I missed – especially the legendary message “I was told there would be biscuits” carried by a small child on someone’s shoulders. I broke away from the march early on to take part in UK Uncut actions on Oxford Street and then at Fortnum & Mason.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Demonised by the press for their behaviour, UK Uncut have been quick to fight back with their version of events: really, the police and media should know better. Both UK Uncut and Green & Black Cross – the support network that provided legal observers and arrestee support – have grown out of Climate Camp networks and ways of organising to take on completely new identities of their own. As a result some of those involved are no strangers to wrongful arrest, police brutality and political policing: remember Heathrow, Kingsnorth, G20 and Ratcliffe anyone? These people know what they are doing; naturally the unfair arrests of UK Uncut was filmed and immediately shared, the footage unsurprisingly making the front page of the Guardian.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Some people might wonder what on earth the links between the anti-cuts movement and Climate Camp are, but Climate Camp has always been rooted in a desire to address the social inequalities of capitalism – for example a breakaway group in London is currently looking at ways to campaign around fuel poverty. One of the favourite slogans at the COP15 Climate conference was System Change not Climate Change – we can’t cure the problem with simple quick fix answers, but rather by tackling the whole global neoliberal system. A brutal plan to cut services such as libraries and the NHS will undermine the fabric of a just society, affecting the poor most. Meanwhile the rich are able to avoid huge tax bills at a time when we desperately need to start building a green economy that is not based on endless profit. Clearly these inequalities are something that green activists are keen to tackle.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Climate Camp has also always been a broad mix of liberalism and radicalism, so it’s no surprise that UK Uncut is as well. The very name Green & Black Cross indicates how the group combines the more autonomous anarchist streaks of activism with the skills, infrastructure and ideologies built up within the green movement. It supports grassroots social struggles in the UK and during the March for the Alternative the Green & Black Cross provided Legal Support, Action Medics and Action Kitchens. They even had a basic compost portaloo roaming the streets in a supermarket trolley – but in the event it was never used: it’s hard to get into a kettle once it is formed. They will be independently advising on all arrests during the day at a defendants’ meeting on Saturday 2nd April and were generally out in force to offer biscuits and legal advice as soon as arrestees were released.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Since the arrests UK Uncut activists have had to field a barrage of commentary from the media, which has been ever quick to notice the anarchic element of their protest. Their sit in at Fortnum & Mason was largely peaceful – protestors ate their own sandwiches and listened to performances and speeches – but on Newsnight a spokesperson was asked to denounce all protestor violence. She did a marvellous job of neither condoning nor condemning it: there were people from all backgrounds in Fortnum & Mason. For some it will have been their first experience of direct action (read this shocking report of the arrest of a 15 year old girl) and others were part of the Black Bloc earlier in the day – the two are not mutually exclusive. UK Uncut has an incredibly loose non-hierarchical structure, and to be successful it must somehow find a place for those of all backgrounds.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia GregoryInside Fortnum & Mason. They look super scared don’t they?

Most UK Uncutters recognise that there is more to successful activism than a simplistic black and white damnation of violence, but the more liberal end of the spectrum may well be new to the idea that damage to property is not considered violence by many activists – see here for a definition – so there is going to be a rapid need to redefine and educate as soon as possible. Most of the targets for property damage on Saturday were well thought through – big banks that avoid tax, Topshop, BHS and so on. Who threw paint, and who broke windows? It’s not clear, but the targets were clear enough. Some people, whether you agree with it or not, think it is more effective to inflict damage on a well selected target than to simply march from A-B and then listen to speeches. After all, what did it ever do to stop the Iraq war? Direct action through the ages has proven that targeting property can be highly effective – the Suffragettes were never afraid of inflicting collateral damage. Last year at Climate Camp windows were smashed at the RBS head offices in Edinburgh to demonstrate concern against their continued investment in fossil fuels.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

By Trafalgar Square at night some rogue elements (possibly pissed up) were clearly provoked into throwing glass bottles at police, never something I would recommend however bad police brutality gets (and by all accounts it did get REALLY bad) because I personally don’t believe that violence against people is ever acceptable. But I do believe that the Black Bloc as a considered and thoughtful tactic is something that our movement needs: people who are willing to put their bodies and actions on the front line to stop those who are damaging the fabric of our “democratic” society. Many of them were very young, possibly disaffected veterans of kettling at the student demos last year – others were highly organised groups who came to join the march from across the country. Those involved will undoubtedly have slightly different views as to process and outcome but recent online dialogues prove that diverse parts of the movement are keen to work together. Rather than dismiss Black Bloc actions as the nihilistic work of masked “hooligans” we would do well to consider the underlying reasons why this is seen as an appealing tactic utilised by at least a thousand people last weekend. After all, we’re all in this together… and this is just the beginning of our future.

March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory
March 26 2011-UK Uncut. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Further reading:
Why Fortnum & Mason?
Video footage from the UKuncut action
An open letter from the Brighton Solidarity Federation of Anarcho-Syndicalists
People are worth less than property
A night in the cells is nothing to a lifetime imprisoned by cuts
Reasons why the cuts are a bad idea
Dominic Campbell experiences police brutality in Trafalgar Square
Political Dynamite: We should use the word violence with the greatest care.
Leah Borromeo: Protestors can’t disown the “violent minority”.
Why the UKuncut arrests threaten future protests
What is the Black Bloc? Information page.
Laurie Penny – What really happened in Trafalgar Square
My UK Uncut arrest made me a political prisoner
Climate Camp 2010 in Edinburgh – my commentary
Climate Camp 2009 in Copenhagen – my commentary part one, part two and part three.
G20 Climate Camp in the City – my commentary
Ratcliffe: Did PC Mark “Flash” Kennedy ensure my arrest as one of the Ratcliffe 114 ?- my commentary
Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in 2008.
One of the first UK Uncut protests: Sir Philip Green and his Topshop billions get the UK Uncut treatment.
The Third Estate: A message to Critical UK Uncut activists.
Latent Existance: a report by the 15 year old who was arrested.

Categories ,Anarchism, ,Anarcho-Syndicalists, ,Anti-capitalism, ,Anti-cuts, ,Banners, ,BHS, ,Black Bloc, ,capitalism, ,Climate Camp, ,COP15 Climate conference, ,Cuts, ,Democratic, ,Direct Action, ,Dominic Campbell, ,economy, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,g20, ,Green & Black Cross, ,Green New Deal, ,Green Party, ,Hooligans, ,kingsnorth, ,Liberal, ,March for the Alternative, ,Neoliberalism, ,Newsnight, ,NHS, ,Oxford Circus, ,police, ,Political Dynamite, ,Ratcilffe, ,Suffragettes, ,Tax Avoidance, ,The Third Estate, ,topshop, ,Trafalgar Square, ,Trojan Horse, ,UK Uncut, ,Veggies, ,Violence

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Amelia’s Magazine | Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review: Books, Food, Comedy, Craft & Fashion

Port Eliot Festival by Maia Fjord
Port Eliot Festival by Maia Fjord.

I’ve been meaning to take in Port Eliot festival for several years but it has always been just that little bit too far away. This summer we were able to attend, thanks to a holiday in Cornwall with family.

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Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0006
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0000
Once more we were blessed with a weekend of near perfect sunshine, ideal for wild and muddy swimming in the adjacent river, and the grassy banks were packed when we arrived on Friday afternoon. It’s a relatively small festival, which meant that we could pop up our tent quite close to the action. Beyond the main tented areas we traversed overgrown rhododendron paths, frolicked in a full sized maze and emerged with a spectacular view of the impressive aqueduct beneath which a couple of stand up paddle boarders were dwarfed.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0002
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0015
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0019
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0016
Port Eliot is not your average festival; here the usual music takes a back seat to other offerings: literary, foodie, comedic, crafty and fashionable. Thanks to some well placed connections it has built a bit of a reputation as the fashionistas’ festival, and despite the distance from London the big names return year after year. It was telling that (in comparison to my adventures at Green Earth Awakening) all the people I ran into on the site were friends I know from working in fashion.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0023
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0009
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0001
I liked the mix of activities, but it took awhile to get used to the workings of this festival, where queueing is a prerequisite for popular talks and workshops (I am very bad at queues, and never more so now that I have a toddler in tow). My partner tried to hear Martin Parr speak on several occasions (about his new film, which was also showing) before we finally tracked him down on the Sunday at the Dovegrey Reader tent, where the audience could sit out on the grass (and knitting is de rigeur). Lucky then that Martin Parr was speaking so many times! And obviously taking the opportunity to snap away at this most middle class of festivals. The favourite thing I took from his talk was his admission that he takes huge amount of photos, because most of them are crap. I have always believed it’s all in the edit so it was good to hear that Martin thinks so too.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0013
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0017
I didn’t have so much luck joining an Anthropologie workshop, having arrived at the allocated time to book a class, only to find they were already full. Instead I learnt how to crochet (at last!) with Ros Badger at The Badger Sett.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0021
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0010
Plenty of authors were on hand to talk about and then sign books but I only caught small parts of many talks due to toddler demands. Viv Albertine talked very engagingly about her new book Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys which I am desperate to read (Luella Bartley spotted in the audience), and I enjoyed listening to Richard Benson talk about rural life and his new book The Valley, but not so much Gruff Rhys on his US adventures (he didn’t engage). Susie Bubble was front row for a chat with fashion designer Simone Rocha and I bought a signed copy of Babette Cole’s new children’s book, inspired by her lodger, pictured above in dreadlocks and bunny ears.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0008
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0007
In the beautiful Walled Garden the fashion set held arty sewing workshops and a catwalk show for tweenies. I admired a clever bunting made from colourful hair weaves and the dexterity of The Flower Appreciation Society, ensuring that many ladies at the festival sported beautiful real floral headdresses.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0022
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0011
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0012
Every time we tried to get to the kids’ Hullabaloo area I got lost in the winding labyrinth of paths. Once there we discovered plentiful crafty workshops, theatre productions, a bouncy castle, puppet shows and comedy. Speaking of which, I managed to contain Snarfle for long enough to hear most of Robin Ince’s genius set.

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0026
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0003
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0004
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0025
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0024
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-0014
The main house was home to displays of crocheted tea cosies, cakes, flower arrangements and scarecrows. We didn’t visit the foodie tent but admired the stage set up from afar. Instead we frequented the Hix pop up in the Orangery, with food supplied by Fortnum & Mason. It was a pricey meal but we enjoyed the incongruous silver service. Elsewhere we dined on Cornish seafood, wood fired pizza and local ice cream. Food was a definite highlight!

Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-the odd folk
Port Eliot Festival 2014 Review-love nor moneyy
Port Eliot Snarfle and Sheepie
In the early evenings Snarfle and I headed to the smallest music tent, where he jumped around to the ramshackle and rather brilliant The Odd Folk one night and electro powered drum n bass anthems from sister act Love Nor Money on the next. He is now obsessed with ‘rock guitar’ as well as banjo. Thank goodness his Sheepie doubles as a guitar/banjo/ukelele stand in.

Categories ,2014, ,Anthropologie, ,Babette Cole, ,books, ,Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys, ,comedy, ,Cornwall, ,craft, ,crochet, ,Dovegrey Reader, ,fashion, ,festival, ,Food, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,Green Earth Awakening, ,Gruff Rhys, ,Hix, ,Hullabaloo, ,knitting, ,Love Nor Money, ,Luella Bartley, ,Maia Fjord, ,Martin Parr, ,Orangery, ,Port Eliot, ,review, ,Richard Benson, ,Robin Ince, ,Ros Badger, ,Sheepie, ,Simone Rocha, ,Snarfle, ,Susie Bubble, ,The Badger Set, ,The Flower Appreciation Society, ,The Odd Folk, ,The Valley, ,viv albertine, ,Walled Garden

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Art Fair 2012 Review: Part Two

elisabeth lecourt map dress
You’ve read the first part of my London Art Fair 2012 round up, now catch up with the rest… starting with Elisabeth Lecourt of Byard Art in Cambridge who creates gorgeous dresses from maps. (I told you maps were big news.)

London Art Fair 2012 -chris wood
I’m always a bit of a sucker for pearlescent materials: Chris Wood (also with Byard) favours the medium of Dichroic glass for angular abstract patterns.

Claire Moynihan byard London Art Fair 2012 -Claire Moynihan
London Art Fair 2012 -Claire Moynihan
Claire Moynihan byard dragonfly
It’s great to see an upsurge of interest in textile art. Claire Moynihan works in detailed felt and embroidery, and is best admired up close – her ‘moth balls’ are beautiful.

London Art Fair 2012 - Justin Hammond
London Art Fair 2012 - Justin Hammond
On the second floor of the exhibition I was able to pop in on Justin Hammond, hosting a display of great new Catlin Guide commissioned art pieces.

London Art Fair 2012 -hannah harkes
London Art Fair 2012 -tom howse
My favourites have to be Hannah Harkes (with a cowboy snogging an Indian) and the naif folk art of Tom Howse.

London Art Fair 2012 -Chris Pensa
Next door Chris Pensa of Love Art London talked me through some of his upcoming tours – check out their website for ideas, I fancy me a tour with the fossil hunter! Read my review of an earlier tour here.

Run riot run laura jordan
A strong theme of disaffection unsurprisingly runs through many artworks, including Laura Jordan‘s Run Riot Run, an intricate map of the riots, shown with Galleryone.

UK Uncut oona hassim trafalgar_square
Oona Hassim took as the starting point for her oil painting a photo of the Anti Cuts Demo in March 2011 in Piccadilly Circus. If I’m not much mistaken this is the UK Uncut parade that led to Fortnum & Mason – despite the blurry feel I recognise it, because I was there – those flags are a dead giveaway. The pieces are oddly energetic and beautiful but how odd to see direct action flogged as fine art!

YouTube Preview Image
You can watch a short film showing her making the initial sketches here. She has an exhibition opening this week at Woolff Gallery.

London Art Fair 2012 -Joanne Tinker
London Art Fair 2012 -Joanne Tinker
At Woolff there was lots of upcycling going on. Special mention goes to Joanne Tinker who created rows of goblets out of sweet wrappers.

London Art Fair 2012 -Susila Bailey-Bond
Susila Bailey-Bond is another butterfly papercut artist, concentrating on their decorative qualities.

Jess littlewood contemporary
Jess Littlewood at The Contemporary London collages together monochrome otherworldly scenes that are very ‘now’. Like a lot.

London Art Fair 2012 -Juz Kitson
Porcelain, ink and wool are the preferred medium of artist Juz Kitson, who created wall installations of skulls, pulsating hearts and corals.

London Art Fair 2012 -Cynthia Corbett Gallery Ghost of a Dream
For the Cynthia Corbett Gallery Ghost of a Dream have produced an amazing collaboration that I first spotted at the graduate art fairs that I visited in abundance last year. The installation uses lottery tickets and the covers of romance novels, which are glued in patterns onto panels, mirrors and chandeliers.

Zak Ove
Irish/Carribean artist and film director Zak Ove at Vigo Gallery cobbles together found objects to create religiously inspired ensembles.

Reginald S Aloysius
At Bearspace I recognised Reginald S Aloysius from the 2011 Jerwood Drawing Prize. His overgrown temples are intersected by the paths of cross atlantic planes.

London Art Fair 2012  jane ward
Jane Ward imagined a disturbed dystopian future of exploding buildings. I hope we don’t end up there!

London Art Fair 2012 -Nomad
Lastly I can’t go without mentioning the huge Nomad light sculpture by Beau McClellan in the entrance to the design centre: yours for just 250,000 euros. One for those Russian oligarchs me thinks.

Categories ,2012, ,Bearspace, ,Beau McClellan, ,Byard Art, ,Chris Pensa, ,Chris Wood, ,Claire Moynihan, ,craft, ,Cynthia Corbett Gallery, ,Dichroic Glass, ,Elisabeth Lecourt, ,Fortnum & Mason, ,Galleryone, ,Ghost of a Dream, ,Hannah Harkes, ,Islington Business Design Centre, ,Jane Ward, ,Jerwood Drawing Prize, ,Jess Littlewood, ,Joanne Tinker, ,Justin Hammond, ,Juz Kitson, ,Laura Jordan, ,Light Sculpture, ,London Art Fair, ,Love Art London, ,Moth Balls, ,Nomad, ,Oligarch, ,Oona Hassim, ,Papercutting, ,Porcelain, ,Reginald Aloysius, ,review, ,Riots, ,Run Riot Run, ,susila bailey-bond, ,textile, ,The Catlin Guide, ,The Contemporary London, ,Tom Howse, ,UK Uncut, ,Upcycling, ,Vigo Gallery, ,wool, ,Woolff, ,Zak Ove

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